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Where are the wounded?

I can remember many years ago when I was just a little tyke, taking a stroll with my mother to the corner store or the neighborhood park. We would run into the people from the neighborhood, of course, but always the occasional stranger.

My memories of my childhood represents the 1950's, an era reputed to be more conservative, carefree, trusting, less complicated, etc. (I can't really say, as my childhood did not burden me with the mortgage or utility bills).

Anyway the Korean War was a not too distant memory, and WWII didn't loom far behind in chronological proximity. Every now and again, we would see a man with an Army uniform, either with a pair of crutches, a peg leg (they were rather common then), or traveling with an assistant in an old steel wheelchair.

I would ask the curious question that a child would ask, and my mom would explain the "patriotic sacrifice" involved, and the understanding was clear--and my heart would burst with pride, wishing that my opportunity would hurry along so I also could serve my country.

Presently we are in the middle of a war, (aka "conflict"), but my question is, "Where are the wounded?" We get the count of the dead and a great cry goes out when that dead reach a certain number, but surely every soldier attacked in the war doesn't die. I repeat, "Where are the wounded?"

Being a Vietnam era veteran, one of my most vivid memories of that war was seeing wounded soldiers--both on the home front and at military bases--prior to my time to ship out. These encounters reminded many at home that a "conflict" was indeed being waged, and a price was being paid, a price visible to all Americans.

No, I don't entertain any macabre or perverse fascination with men or women who are wounded, but actually seeing them does allow for the kin of camaraderie and appreciation for the struggle that is surely missing at this time.

With the advances in weaponry, it is easier to lose a life on the battlefield. However, the advances in medical technology also make survival very much more likely. So, where are the wounded?

Is there an insurgent camp filled with American POW's somewhere hidden in a desert? If so, why have we not heard about it? Does the present administration think that the sight of wounded soldiers would dampen American spirit, somehow reduce our resolve? I beg to differ.

Just as the impetus of a family member to right a wrong is enhanced by a fallen brother, the American spirit is galvanized into action when the evidence for support is manifested in the streets and the malls. Wounded among us facilitates the need to know that it is our struggle, and not just someone else's son or daughter in some remote and distant land. Where are the wounded?
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Title Annotation:Opinions and Letters to the Editor!
Author:Sanders, Walter
Publication:The Informed Constituent (Albany, NY)
Article Type:Letter to the editor
Date:Mar 1, 2006
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